It’s Moving Day! The Ultimate Checklist for Your Big Move

Moving is one of the most necessary and stressful times in our lives. Whether you are moving to a new house or a new office, there are a lot of tasks that must be accomplished and many things that may be forgotten. This process can be very time consuming and frustrating.

This stress can be alleviated by preparing a good, solid plan. This way you can approach your moving day with an organized plan in place and a clear head. Regardless of what your moving situation is, it is important to start early and create a checklist to help you stay organized and efficient.

Try to avoid common mistakes people make when moving. Common mistakes include forgetting to prepare your new space, failing to label boxes, and forgetting to measure furniture and large items. These mistakes can lead to a disastrous and chaotic moving day.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you with your move, whether you are traveling a short or far distance.

Check Your Calendar

Whether you’re old school and prefer a calendar you can write on or an electronic calendar, it is important to start planning your move as early as possible. Preferably give yourself at least a month to get organized.

Utilize technology to help ease some of the stress. There are several great moving apps that include a pre-filled moving timeline and are a wonderful resource.

Create a realistic timeline and allow yourself plenty of time for each task, as packing away your contents will often take more time than you budgeted. Add each task to your calendar, or follow along with the checklist in your app. This will alleviate the stress you are feeling and allow you to focus on your future. It will also ensure that your moving day runs smoothly.

Prepare Your New Space

Many people overlook this crucial step. Make sure you prepare the new, empty space where you are relocating. Grab a bucket of your go-to cleaning supplies, a vacuum, and head to your new space.

It is especially important to clean the walls, floors, and baseboards before moving things in. Tiny crevices and corners are likely to trap dust. While you are there take note of any cracks or other aesthetic issues. Make sure you address these issues with the seller or property owner before you move in.

Take Out Your Measuring Tape

When you are looking at an empty bedroom, it will appear much larger than it does when you move in with your king-sized bed and your 16-drawer antique dresser. You need to account for this change in perspective by measuring each room and each piece of furniture that you intend to bring with you.

In addition to your tape measure, bring along a pencil, level, and paper. Measure properly by starting your calculations at the zero mark on your tape measure.

Once you are done measuring each room and each large piece of furniture, it is time to measure doorways. Make sure there is enough room for furniture to fit through the door opening.

This is a Good Time to Purge

After you have finished measuring, there are likely to be large items, appliances or furniture that simply cannot fit in your new space. Many of us amass too many possessions during our lifetimes. Most of us have at least a few items of clothing or pairs of shoes we don’t wear anymore. If they are old and destroyed, it is probably best to just discard them.

Use this time to purge any unnecessary belongings or oversized items. If the items are new or gently used, donating them is always a possibility.

Reach out to friends, post items for sale online, or consider donating to a local charity. Several charities will even come pick up the items.

Buy Packing and Moving Supplies

Moving is an expensive endeavor. It is best to plan and purchase moving supplies early, so you aren’t scrambling to get the necessities at the last minute. If you are packing yourself, visit your local grocery or wine store and ask if they have any free boxes you can use.

You can also purchase moving boxes and packing supplies from your moving company. Other essentials you may need are packing paper, foam, or packing peanuts to protect fragile items like glasses, silverware, and fine china.

Many movers experience a moment of panic when they realize they have run out of tape and need to take time out of their busy, moving day to go and buy some more. Avoid this issue and purchase a tape gun and plenty of refills. Hardware stores typically sell these in sets of two or three, so it is a good idea to purchase them there.

Printed labels are crucial. You must organize each box and its contents to make moving day and unpacking in your new place simple. Prepare labels and have them ready to go prior to sealing each box. There are many different types of printed labels to choose from, so you should have no problem getting the printed labels that fit your needs.

Buy New Furniture in Advance

Most furniture stores do not have the items readily available in the store, and they will have to custom-make the pieces or ship them in from their warehouse somewhere else. Even if they have the pieces in stock, most places do not offer same-day delivery. Prepare furniture shipments at least a month in advance, especially if the pieces need to be custom-made. This way, you also have a better chance of getting a delivery date and time that works best for you.

Set Up Your Utilities Before You Move

It would be devastating to move into a new place and not have electricity, gas, and water, or no internet to stream your favorite Netflix shows. Make sure you make the appropriate phone calls to your new utility providers to ensure your utilities are set up prior to your move-in date. Keep in mind that many local utility companies make you wait a few days until your electricity or other utilities can be turned on.

Change Your Address

Be prepared for your move by ordering sheeted labels with your new address printed on them. This is the best way to ensure you are directly informing your contacts you have changed your address.

Keep track of any incoming mail you receive prior to your move. Immediately send these contacts back a labeled envelope informing them of your upcoming move. Additionally, you will need to send a similar notice to everyone in your contact list.

It is best practice to also make sure to change your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS). This only takes a few minutes online and costs a nominal fee of one dollar. Of course, you can also still go to your local post office. It is important to do this at least a week in advance of your move because it takes USPS a few business days to process the request and start forwarding your mail to your new address.

It is not only important to notify USPS about your upcoming move. There are numerous other people and businesses who may need to know. You should also advise doctors, schools, and any other professional organization you are affiliated with that you are moving and need to change your address. Make sure you change your address for magazine and other mail subscriptions, too.

Safety First

Many times, the place you are moving has been inhabited before, and the previous tenants may still have keys. It is best practice to change your locks and set up a security system if you think you need it. Many companies that sell home and office security systems offer great incentives for new accounts.

Pack a Separate Box for Moving Day

You should always have a box with essentials you will need while you are moving and unpacking. Consider this similar to your airplane carry-on bag. Bathroom essentials, medications, and clothing are the main items you will need to pack in this box.

Pack It All Up

Packing can seem like the most daunting part of the move. It is physically demanding and emotionally stressful. Having what you need in advance will be a huge help when moving into a new home or office. Organize boxes by room and category. For example, your obscure electronics like a router, TV remote, DVD player, and the like should be assembled in the same boxes designated for your living room.

It is arguably better to separate heavy items in smaller boxes. This makes them more manageable to move, and it is also safer for you to move them. If you have lightweight clothing, leave them in your dresser. Just make sure that your drawers are taped shut during your move. If having the drawers in the piece makes it too heavy, remove them. These tips will make unpacking a lot less difficult when you get to your new place.

Label Everything

Printed labels are essential to the moving process. You can never be too organized when moving. They will help you easily determine what is in each box, and what room those boxes belong in.

Printed labels make things much more convenient, and there are endless options to choose from. Sheeted labels are available and helpful when you are printing numerous labels with similar text. Consider colored labels if you would like your printed labels color-coded by room. More complex direct thermal labels are available if you are moving to or within a very cold state, as they can withstand the cooler temperatures.

Printed labels also help you prioritize unpacking your belongings. A box labeled “kitchen essentials” is likely a higher priority than one labeled for the attic or basement. Printed labels make it easy to glance at a box and know immediately whether it is a priority.

Protect the Fragile Items

No one wants to get to their new home or office and find their prized framed photo of a 70’s Grateful Dead poster shattered at the bottom of a box. Buying packing paper and bubble wrap is the best way to prevent this from happening during the move.

Packing supplies and extra padding will protect your valuables. This helps prevent the emotions that can come with breaking something that has sentimental value or is one-of-a-kind. Make sure your fragile belongings, especially glass, are wrapped up and sealed tightly with tape.

Additionally, you should have printed labels marked “fragile” ready at your disposal when packing. This will ensure your box is clearly labeled and not to be mishandled or roughly moved around when packing or unpacking. Make sure to separate your fragile items into these designated boxes. If using a moving company, you should keep these fragile boxes with you in your personal vehicle or ask the movers to place them in a designated space within the moving truck.

Moving Day is Here

When moving day comes, gather your supplies. Make sure you keep your calendar and a checklist on hand to ensure you are handling each necessary item as intended.

Recruit movers, friends, or family to assist with the move. It is best to work your way from one end of the space to the other, going room by room. Also bring along a toolbox, box cutters, as well as a dolly or cart.

Make sure you wrap heavy furniture in moving blankets to ensure the corners are not damaged in the move. An alternative is to intentionally leave out fluffy towels and comforters to aid in this process by using them to wrap smaller items and pieces of furniture.

Be mindful to angle furniture vertically rather than horizontally. This will aid in the process of loading and unloading bulky items. Lifting straps are another solid investment that will make moving furniture much easier.


Moving is extremely difficult, but smart planning can help alleviate the stress. Prepare in advance so you can make the appropriate phone calls to your contacts, utilities, and post office.

Printed labels are an essential part of moving, as this process requires an enormous amount of organization. Consider what type of printed label best suits your needs: direct thermal labels for high heat or humid conditions, colored labels for greater visual organization, or sheeted labels for those requiring a greater quantity.

Keep your moving checklist or app in-hand on moving day, and follow these tips to ensure a successful move. This way you will be less stressed out and more likely to be focusing on your future home or office.